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Working together to improve energy performance

A new report has found that if Australia and Germany worked together, they could increase the improvement rate of energy performance in existing buildings.

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) commissioned the report from the Energy Efficiency Council, German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce and adelphi. It is titled Further, faster, together: Opportunities for collaboration between Germany and Australia on energy efficiency in buildings.

The report reveals Germany and Australia have similar strengths regarding buildings policy and performance. It states that the countries have “identified energy-efficiency policy, programs and technology as an important area for bilateral cooperation”.

The Australian government’s Technology Investment Roadmap, which identifies energy efficiency as a key component to lowering carbon emissions; closely aligns with the German government’s principle of “energy efficiency first”.

Energy Efficiency Council CEO Luke Menzel says the report highlights Germany’s incredible success in supporting energy performance in improvements in existing homes by leveraging grants and finance.

“Unlocking the market for residential energy performance improvements at scale is a big challenge,” he says.

“But with policymakers around Australia focused on that question right now, the time is right to seize this opportunity to learn from the best in the world.”

Menzel and CEO of the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Christoph von Spesshardt, lead the Sub Working Group under the Australia-Germany Energy Working Group.

The report has identified three areas in which Australia and Germany can collaborate:

  • Commission research and facilitate dialogue on energy-efficiency financing in Germany, and lessons for Australia
  • Commission research and facilitate dialogue on NABERS Energy’s role in Australia, and lessons for Germany
  • Commission research and facilitate dialogue on unlocking the potential of heat pumps.

Von Spesshardt believes Germany has much to learn from NABERS and the Commercial Building Disclosure program.

“Learning the lessons of NABERS – or even considering adopting NABERS, as New Zealand and the United Kingdom have done – is something I’m very hopeful will take place in Germany,” he says.

Menzel adds that the complementary strengths of the two nations can leverage the insights generated on opposite sides of the world to help get further, faster, cutting energy bills and carbon emissions along the way.

The full report is available to download here.

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